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Railroaders' Nostalgia > For the tourists, Cutouts and Inflatables.


Date: 05/23/20 21:39
For the tourists, Cutouts and Inflatables.
Author: eminence_grise

On one of the famous "Scenic Dome" passenger train rides through the Rockies. A full dome with an older woman complaining to a  trainman "I paid big money to see wildlife from this train, and I haven't see a single bear or mountain goat. Years ago I rode this train and saw plenty". Read Tripadivsor and you can still hear this complaint.

The trainman replied, "Years ago there were many more track workers. They used to put out plywood cutouts of animals for the tourists to look out for. In time, they fell down and rotted away and then someone in the passenger department came up with the idea of plastic inflatable animals. However, they would blow away in the wind". In my minds eye, I imagine an inflated elk flying high over a dome car in a strong wind.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/25/20 16:15 by eminence_grise.



Date: 05/24/20 00:48
Re: For the tourists, Cutouts and Inflatables.
Author: JasonCNW

LOL,,thats a quick thinking trainman.
JC

Posted from Android



Date: 05/24/20 00:56
Re: For the tourists, Cutouts and Inflatables.
Author: aronco

In the 1960's and in to the 70's I suppose, there was a small animal sanctuary next to the SP's Soledad Canyon line between Saugus and Lancaster, near the West end of the siding Russ.  There were always a few exotic animals in large fenced enclosures on the East side of the track and below track level perhaps 25 feet or so.  On the few times when I worked the San Joaquin Daylight as a trainman, I would remind families traveling together to watch for the tigers and elephants near the tracks in a few miles.  The parents would look at me as if I were a bit daffy but, upon passing by their seats later, the kids eyes woould be wide with excitement and the parents no longer doubted me.  I believe actress Tipi Hedron owned or sponsored this sanctuary.
In the mid 1960's, a work train was using the SP derrick from LA to rerail cars from a derailment.  The crew switched the derrick out to the main track, uncoupled, and went back into the siding, and the derrick's air brakes wouldn't hold it on the grade.  It rolled away Westward.  Conductor John Oswald boarded the derrick and tried to stop it with tightening the hand brake, but it too was innefective, and the derrick turned over on a curve by the sanctuary and Oswald, a really fine man and good rail, was killed.

Norm

Norman Orfall
Helendale, CA
TIOGA PASS, a private railcar



Date: 05/24/20 07:29
Re: For the tourists, Cutouts and Inflatables.
Author: trainjunkie

I was working a passenger train in Alaska a few years ago, making my way through the train, when an elderly female passenger stopped me in mid stride to ask, "What time do the bears come out?" She was dead serious too.

Every passenger conductor and car host in Alaska has at least one of these kinds of stories to tell. Many passengers think they are on some sort of extended Disneyland ride, and have no clue how far into the wilderness we often are or that they aren't on a "zoo train". 



Date: 05/24/20 09:31
Re: For the tourists, Cutouts and Inflatables.
Author: railstiesballast

One night when we were out patrolling track during some stormy weather, we got word that the fence at the wild amimal sanctury had washed away so we not only had to look out for rockslides and washouts, but had to be alert for big carnivores too.
Later we found out that they were all pretty old and tame.
 



Date: 05/24/20 09:56
Re: For the tourists, Cutouts and Inflatables.
Author: mundo

Not animal related, but a frequent question when the RDC  cars operated on the San Diegan.

Passengers would ask, where is the stairs to the "Dome".

You see, when they boarded the train, they noted the hump on top of the cars, so figured they were domes.
Same question may have come up elsewhere the RDC was operated.



Date: 05/24/20 12:40
Re: For the tourists, Cutouts and Inflatables.
Author: tehachcond

   My favorite trick when I worked as a conductor on the Georgetown Loop RR back in 2007 was when someone would ask me where the Rocky Mountain Sheep were.  I would point to a nearby rocky cliff and say, "About halfway up, theres five of them."
"Where?'
"About halfway up the cliff>"
"Oh yeah! I see them!"
   Of course, no sheep present.  Amazing what the power of suggestion can do.  They went away happy, thinking they'd seen some Rocky Mountain sheep, which actually, were quite common in the canyon.

Brian black
Castle Rock, CO



Date: 05/24/20 12:51
Re: For the tourists, Cutouts and Inflatables.
Author: tehachcond

aronco Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> In the 1960's and in to the 70's I suppose, there
> was a small animal sanctuary next to the SP's
> Soledad Canyon line between Saugus and Lancaster,
> near the West end of the siding Russ.  There were
> always a few exotic animals in large fenced
> enclosures on the East side of the track and below
> track level perhaps 25 feet or so.  On the few
> times when I worked the San Joaquin Daylight as a
> trainman, I would remind families traveling
> together to watch for the tigers and elephants
> near the tracks in a few miles.  The parents
> would look at me as if I were a bit daffy but,
> upon passing by their seats later, the kids eyes
> woould be wide with excitement and the parents no
> longer doubted me.  I believe actress Tipi Hedron
> owned or sponsored this sanctuary.
> In the mid 1960's, a work train was using the SP
> derrick from LA to rerail cars from a
> derailment.  The crew switched the derrick out to
> the main track, uncoupled, and went back into the
> siding, and the derrick's air brakes wouldn't hold
> it on the grade.  It rolled away Westward. 
> Conductor John Oswald boarded the derrick and
> tried to stop it with tightening the hand brake,
> but it too was innefective, and the derrick turned
> over on a curve by the sanctuary and Oswald, a
> really fine man and good rail, was killed.
>
> Norm

   Norm, that wild animal place near the old station of Russ was owned by Ivan Tors, who produced the old "Daktari" TV series and numerous other wildlife films..  I remember watching one of those programs, and here was the top of an SP block signal plainly visible in the background.  The compound was destroyed by a flood in 1969 and was never rebuilt.  All the animals were safely rescued except for some big crocodiles that were never found.  We used to tell young brakemen that if they were walking the train at night, and they heard rustling in the bushes, BEWARE!
   The animal compound owned by Tippi Hedrun was named the Sambala Preserve and was located just east of the east switch at Ravenna, and was still in operation when I no longer worked in Soledad Canyon after the UP took over.  One night, we saw a loose Ocelot right there, but that's a story for another time.

Brian Black
Castle Rock, CO



Date: 05/25/20 06:29
Re: For the tourists, Cutouts and Inflatables.
Author: NS8552

So that's where the elk in my back yard came from. Always wondered...

Ken
 



Date: 05/26/20 19:01
Re: For the tourists, Cutouts and Inflatables.
Author: 567Chant

On June 22, 2008 I was on Amtk 14 detour from BFD to LAX.
As we passed the sanctuary in Sand Canyon, a fellow passenger spotted an extremely large cat and exclaimed "Look at the size of that lion!"
I piped up "That is a liger, a cross between a lion and a tiger"
His facial expression told me that he thought that I was full of frijioles.
I am not a BS artist.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liger#Longevity

BTW, I possess the unlifted ticket.
What is it worth?

...Lorenzo



Date: 05/27/20 18:07
Re: For the tourists, Cutouts and Inflatables.
Author: TAW

tehachcond Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

>    Norm, that wild animal place near the old
> station of Russ was owned by Ivan Tors, who
> produced the old "Daktari" TV series and numerous
> other wildlife films.

If I remember correctly, there was also a nudist park somewhere near there that could occasionally provide some entertainment.

TAW



Date: 06/14/20 17:22
Re: For the tourists, Cutouts and Inflatables.
Author: SanJoaquinEngr

TAW Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> tehachcond Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
>
> >    Norm, that wild animal place near the old
> > station of Russ was owned by Ivan Tors, who
> > produced the old "Daktari" TV series and
> numerous
> > other wildlife films.
>
> If I remember correctly, there was also a nudist
> park somewhere near there that could occasionally
> provide some entertainment.
>
> TAW


It was located between the tunnels just West of Lang. In the summertime most of the time us crews received some friendly waves and much more. All of the SP lines had nudist resorts near the tracks. On the Coast Line at Ortega and Carpinteria. On the Palmdale Cutoff the location was near Dike and Canyon.

Posted from Android



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/15/20 19:58 by SanJoaquinEngr.



Date: 06/14/20 19:24
Re: For the tourists, Cutouts and Inflatables.
Author: Drknow

You West Coast guys get all the fun. Nothing like that on the C&NW 🤨

Posted from iPhone



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